Gianluca Rizzello

Gianluca Rizzello
Universität des Saarlandes | UKS · Department of Mechatronics

Control Engineering
My research interests involve design, modeling, and control of mechatronic and robotic systems based on smart materials.

About

165
Publications
50,851
Reads
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1,459
Citations
Citations since 2016
140 Research Items
1413 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
Introduction
My current research interests include modeling, control and self-sensing of innovative actuators and robotic structures based on smart materials.
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
Universität des Saarlandes
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
April 2016 - December 2019
Universität des Saarlandes
Position
  • PostDoc Position
February 2016 - March 2016
Universität des Saarlandes
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (165)
Thesis
Full-text available
Smart materials represent a class of active materials whose mechanical characteristics can be controlled by means of external stimuli. Dielectric Elastomers (DE) are a particularly attractive family of smart materials, which undergo mechanical deformations when solicited by an electrical voltage. Thanks to many features including large deformations...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops a position self-sensing approach for a motion actuator based on a dielectric elastomer membrane. The proposed method uses voltage and current measurements to estimate the electrical resistance and capacitance online, by means of a high-frequency low-amplitude voltage component injected in the actuation signal. The actual deforma...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes a sensorless control algorithm for a positioning system based on a Dielectric Elastomer Actuator (DEA). The voltage applied to the membrane and the resulting current can be measured during the actuation and used to estimate its displacement, i.e., to perform self-sensing. The estimated displacement can be then used as a feedbac...
Article
Full-text available
This paper deals with a positioning system based on a dielectric electro-active polymer membrane. The motion is generated by the deformation of the membrane caused by the electrostatic compressive force between two compliant electrodes applied on the surface of the polymer. This paper proposes a detailed electro–mechanical nonlinear model of the sy...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops a model-based control strategy for a bistable positioning system based on a dielectric elastomer. The motion is generated by the electrostatic compressive force between two compliant electrodes applied on the surface of the elastomer. The membrane is connected to a bistable spring that acts as a biasing element and significantly...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we present a novel concept for a planar soft robotic module actuated by smart artificial muscles. The structure consists of a flexible backbone capable of continuously bending along a plane, and having a rigid plate connected to its top. The actuation is provided by an antagonist-agonist pair of artificial muscles fibers, consisting...
Article
In this paper, we present a linear parameter-varying (LPV) model of an electrostatic loudspeaker driven by dielectric elastomer (DE) actuators. Because of its numerical simplicity, this LPV model represents a convenient tool to develop real-time control strategies for the speaker. Starting from a non-linear reduced model of the device, we assume th...
Article
In this paper, we model the multi-objective optimisation problem for maximising the energetic performance while minimising the damage accumulation in ocean wave energy converters based on dielectric elastomer generators (DEGs). DEGs are electrostatic smart-material-based transducers that are cheaper, lighter, and more adaptable to the marine enviro...
Article
Dielectric elastomers can be used to develop innovative mechatronic actuators (called DEA). In this paper, we consider the optimal control problem (OCP) of transitioning between an actuator's operating states. Following a model-based approach, a set of discrete-time state equations is derived for the DEA, which satisfy accuracy demands and, at the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a concept of bistable dielectric elas-tomer generator (DEG) and investigates its performance via numerical simulations. Whereas resonant DEG designs are largely used to achieve large convertible energy density over specific frequency ranges, bistability represents a potential alternative approach , suitable to scavenge energy ov...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since continuum robots are applicable in many areas, including industry and medicine, research interest in this field is continuously increasing. A crucial aspect to effectively control their complex motion is the type of actuators. Common solutions are characterized by bulky driving units placed at the base of the robot. Although these solutions a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we model the multi-objective optimisation problem for maximising the energetic performance while minimising the damage accumulation in ocean wave energy converters based on dielectric elastomer generators (DEGs). DEGs are electrostatic smart-material-based transducers that are cheaper, lighter, and more adaptable to the marine enviro...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a principle to develop multi‐function dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) that can concurrently accomplish linear actuation and sound generation through a single electrical input. A centimeter‐scale cone‐shaped DEA is fabricated using silicone‐based dielectric and electrodes. Measurements of the vibro‐acoustic response reveal...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Dielectric elastomer (DE) transducers permit to effectively develop large-deformation, energy-efficient, and compliant mechatronic devices. By arranging many DE elements in an array-like configuration, a soft actuator/sensor system capable of cooperative features can be obtained. When many DE elements are densely packed onto a common el...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are polymeric multi-functional materials that can be used to develop lightweight electrostatic actuators. Among other, DEs allow developing coil-free loudspeakers, in which the acoustic diaphragm and the actuator are embedded into a single DE membrane, whose deformations are driven by electrostatic stresses. In this pape...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the field of soft robotics, Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs) represent a compact and efficient alternative to bulky pneumatic drives. Both soft robots and DEAs show highly nonlinear behaviours due to their intrinsic large deformations, making the design of dynamic controllers highly challenging. At present, the problem of position control o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Soft robots have the potential to overcome some of the limitations of conventional, rigid manipulators, especially in those applications where safe interaction and high flexibility are required. One critical issue concerns the need for estimating the position, the configuration, or even the shape of the soft robot without introducing bulky external...
Article
Full-text available
Dielectric elastomer (DE) transducers are suitable candidates for the development of compliant mechatronic devices, such as wearable smart skins and soft robots. If many independently-controllable DEs are closely arranged in an array-like configuration, sharing a common elastomer membrane, novel types of cooperative and soft actuator/sensor systems...
Article
Full-text available
This work presents the development of an innovative shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator principle, which allows high‐speed switching cycles through the decoupling of antagonistically arranged SMA wires. Being optimized for the use at high ambient temperatures up to 65 °C, a possible application area is the active venting of injection molds where it c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Continuum robots find applications in variety of fields such as medicine, industry, and security. Suitable actuators represent a critical aspect to effectively control their complex motion. Common solutions are characterized by bulky driving units placed at the robot base. Despite this design allows preserving the lightweight nature of the active p...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents on innovative and highly integrated actuator concepts based on smart material transducers. This term refers to those active materials which react to an electrical, magnetic, or thermal stimulus with a change of some mechanical properties (e.g., length, stiffness). Due to their many features which include high energy density an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we present a linear parameter-varying (LPV) model of an electrostatic loudspeaker driven by dielectric elastomer (DE) actuators. Because of its numerical simplicity, this LPV model represents a convenient tool to develop real-time control strategies for the speaker. Starting from a non-linear reduced model of the device, we assume th...
Article
Full-text available
This article deals with modelling and experimental characterisation of the continuum dynamic response of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) subject to high-frequency voltage excitation. DEAs are capable of large deformations in response to an electrostatic stimulus, and they show large operating bandwidths of up to a few kilohertz. Although DEA...
Article
Full-text available
Due to their large deformation, high energy density, and high compliance, dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) have found a number of applications in several areas of mechatronics and robotics. Among the many types of DEAs proposed in the literature, rolled DEAs (RDEAs) represent one of the most popular configurations. RDEAs can be effectively use...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, a shape memory alloy (SMA) based, multifunctional smart implant for improved bone fracture healing is presented. In contrast to conventionally used medical implants such as intramedullary nails or bone plates supporting a fractured bone in a passive way, the developed smart implant has on the one hand the ability to work as a common...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Dielectric elastomers (DEs) consist of thin membranes of dielectric material (e.g., silicone) coated with compliant electrodes. When subject to a high voltage, a DE undergoes an in-plane expansion which can be used for actuation purposes. Nowadays, most of the applications of DE actuators (DEAs) are based on single-degree-of-freedom systems. If man...
Article
Full-text available
Due to their unique combination of features such as large deformation, high compliance, lightweight, energy efficiency, and scalability, dielectric elastomer (DE) transducers appear as highly promising for many application fields, such as soft robotics, wearables, as well as micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). To generate a stroke, a membrane...
Article
This paper presents on electromechanical characterization of thin film nickel-based wrinkled electrodes for dielectric elastomer (DE) applications. The investigation of a sandwich composed of a very soft and flexible elastomer carrying an ultrathin metallic electrode, together with its prestretch-dependent wrinkled structure of the electrode, facil...
Article
Full-text available
The availability of compliant actuators is essential for the development of soft robotic systems. Dielectric elastomers (DEs) represent a class of smart actuators which has gained a significant popularity in soft robotics, due to their unique mix of large deformation (> 100 %), lightweight, fast response, and low cost. A DE consists of a thin elast...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a control-oriented model for a novel concept of high-voltage driving circuit. The circuit topology is specifically devised for actuator applications involving dielectric elastomers (DEs). The effective activation of a DE actuator (DEA) requires driving voltages on the order of several kV, which are difficult to generate with sta...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this work, we propose a novel design methodology to magnify the displacement of a soft robotic system driven by dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs). The system consists of a 2-degrees of freedom (DoF) module, in which pairs of antagonist rolled DEAs are used to induce a bidirectional bending in a flexible backbone. In the context of 1-DoF DEAs...
Article
Full-text available
In this work, we develop a coreless rolled dielectric elastomer actuator (CORDEA) to be used as artificial muscles in soft robotic structures. The new CORDEA concept is based on a 50 µm silicone film with screen-printed electrodes made of carbon black suspended in polydimethylsiloxane. Two printed silicone films are stacked together and then tightl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
By combining small dielectric elastomer (DE) elements in an array configuration, their simultaneous actuation and sensing capabilities can be exploited to develop flexible and energy efficient cooperative systems. In this paper we present development, modelling, and experimental validation of a flexible DE array system. After discussing the system...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, a hybrid model for single-crystal Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) wire actuators is presented. The result is based on a mathematical reformulation of the Mller-Achenbach-Seelecke (MAS) model, which provides an accurate and interconnection-oriented description of the SMA hysteretic response. The strong nonlinearity and high numerical stiffne...
Article
Full-text available
Rolling Diaphragm Hydrostatic Transmissions (RDHT) are high-performance low-cost solutions to delocalize heavy actuators away from the joints of robotic systems. Exploiting a low-cost pressure-based sensing technique, we propose here a Smith-predictor-based joint torque control of an RDHT-based actuation system. We also use a load cell sensor for g...
Article
Full-text available
This work presents a novel five-fingered soft hand prototype actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) wires. The use of thin (100 um diameter) SMA wire actuators, in conjunction with an entirely 3D printed hand skeleton, guarantees an overall lightweight and flexible structure capable of silent motion. To enable high forces with sufficiently high actua...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on the electromechanical properties of novel sub-micron compliant metallic thin film electrodes for dielectric elastomer membranes. Electrodes with thicknesses within the range of 10–20 nm and different residual stress states are explored. Both pure nickel films and sandwiches of nickel (Ni) and carbon (C) are deposited by direct...
Article
Full-text available
Dielectric elastomer (DE) technology opens up the possibility of constructing novel lightweight and energy-efficient mechatonic systems, whose design can be tailored to several applications. Numerous types of DE actuator (DEA) configurations, capable of high-force, high-speed, and high-stroke, have been presented in the recent literature. One relev...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in miniaturized actuators and sensors have enabled the development of cooperative systems, in which a complex global task is achieved through the joint collaboration of several microunits. Achieving system miniaturization while maintaining the desired actuation/sensor and cooperative functionality, however, is generally quite challe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper focuses on the electromechanical properties of novel sub-micron compliant metallic thin film electrodes for dielectric elastomer membranes. Electrodes with thicknesses within the range 10-20 nm and different residual stress states are explored. Both pure nickel films and sandwiches of nickel (Ni) and carbon (C) are deposited by DC magnet...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Dielectric elastomer (DE) technology opens up the possibility of constructing novel lightweight and energy-efficient mechatonic systems, whose design can be tailored to several applications. Numerous types of DE actuator (DEA) configurations, capable of high-force, high-speed, and high-stroke, have been presented in the recent literature. One relev...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent advances in miniaturized actuators and sensors have enabled the development of cooperative systems, in which a complex global task is achieved through the joint collaboration of several micro-units. Achieving system miniaturization while maintaining the desired actuation/sensor and cooperative functionality, however, is generally quite chall...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Due to their unique manipulation capabilities, continuum robots find applications in a variety of different areas, such as medical technology or maintenance and repair. When working with continuum robots, it is often necessary to bend the structure according to complex shapes. This is commonly achieved by arranging several individual modules in ser...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Shape memory alloys (SMA) are used as an attractive technology in the field of actuators and sensors due to their versatile geometry, lightweight, high energy density, and low cost. The thermal activation principle, however, makes SMA application generally suitable for low-frequency (few Hz) regimes. In this work, a novel SMA-based antagonistic act...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, a shape memory alloy (SMA) based handling system is presented. The gripping system consists of two different actuator systems based on SMA wires. The first one is a reconfigurable end-effector with four independent gripping arms. The second SMA actuator system is a bi-stable SMA actuated vacuum suction cup, of which one is mounted on...